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Why Winter Doesn’t Mean True Allergy Relief

Time to pack away those summer vacation memories.

Time to pack away those summer vacation memories.

Most people are a little sad when summer is over.

Maybe it’s because it will be another year before you can frolic on the beach with your kids, or perhaps you thrive on the tennis courts and will miss signing up for all those round-robin tournaments. But there are some good things that go along with plunging temperatures, like an end to mosquito season, and a drastic reduction in pollen levels outside. If cherry blossoms leave you sniffly in the spring and ragweed leaves you congested as autumn approaches, you’re probably thankful for the relief cooler temperatures bring.

Unfortunately, a lot of people are allergic to things that are inside the house, and the opportunities for escaping them are more limited, particularly during the winter. Doctors are very familiar with indoor allergies, and there are plenty of ways you can minimize your suffering if you have them. Here’s what you should know about dealing with indoor allergies this winter

You Don’t Have to Leave Max and Fluffy Outside

Pet dander is a common allergen, but it’s cruel to make your furry family members stay out while everyone else is cozy in front of a football game on TV. It’s not the actual pet hair that’s causing your runny nose, but a protein found in the animal’s saliva that ends up on pet hair (and just about everything else). And frankly, even leaving pets outside doesn’t help, because dander clings to pretty much everything. It’s found in pet-free households, as well as offices and just about every other indoor space, because it is so easily transferred on people’s clothing and shoes. Many people find relief from pet allergies with prescription antihistamines like Clarinex, which you only have to take once per day.

Dust Mites: There’s No Avoiding Them

It isn’t the actual dust that causes your allergies to flare up in the winter, but the droppings of the dust mite, which thrives on dust. Keeping dust to a minimum can help, but like pet dander, there’s no real way to avoid dust mites. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, dust mite droppings are the most common trigger of allergies and asthma symptoms. This particular allergen is concentrated in parts of the house where there is likely to be the most “people-dander” (tiny flakes of sloughed off dead skin), and where humidity is high. Bedrooms, rooms with carpeting, and bathroom rugs are usually the places where dust and dust mites congregate. Treating dust mite allergies usually involves antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays like Nasacort, Nasonex, and Flonase.

Mold Grows Even in Cold Weather

Allergies to mold affect people throughout the year. While mold thrives best in places that are warm and humid (like un-air conditioned bathrooms), it doesn’t need that much warmth to thrive. Your nice steamy bathroom may feel great when you take a hot shower on a cold morning, but it also gives mold a nice place to establish itself. If your home has a basement that’s prone to high humidity, mold can grow easily there, too, even in cold weather. Once mold is established, it sheds microscopic spores that are easily carried through the air, and these spores trigger allergies in a lot of people. You may respond best to an antihistamine, a nasal steroid spray, or a combination if you suffer from allergies to mold.

Even when it’s cold outside, bathrooms can provide the perfect place for mold to thrive.

Even when it’s cold outside, bathrooms can provide the perfect place for mold to thrive.

Treating Allergies Sometimes Requires Trial and Error

Sometimes determining the best way to treat your particular allergy requires trial and error, but antihistamines and steroid nasal sprays are top allergy treatments that are effective against a range of both indoor and outdoor allergies. Decongestant nasal sprays can be good if they’re only used for a few days, but they can cause dependence in as little as a week, and should never be taken for long periods. By contrast, steroid nasal sprays work differently, and while they may take longer to provide relief, they can be safely taken long term.

Just because the pollen counts have dropped doesn’t mean allergy season is over, because millions suffer from indoor allergies. Keeping the house as free of dust and pet hair as possible can help, but most indoor allergens are all but impossible to get rid of. Fortunately, you have several great choices for treating indoor allergies conveniently and safely.

eDrugstore.com provides trusted allergy relief medications like Clarinex, Nasonex, Nasacort, and Flonase at competitive prices with unbeatable convenience. With quick, to-your-door shipping, and adherence to the highest standards of patient and online privacy and security, eDrugstore.com is ready to help you get through indoor allergy season with a minimum of inconvenience and suffering.

Photo Credits: Michal Marcol / freedigitalphotos.net, marin / freedigitalphotos.net

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+